“The fiscal 2009 budget will not include any funds for the U.S. Air Force to buy F-22 Raptors or C-17 cargo lifters, according to a source with knowledge of internal Pentagon budget discussions,” Defense News reports: Top service officials have long said the Air Force needs more than the 183 fifth-generation fighters that made up [...]
Archive of Oct 2007
Where Old Planes Go to Die
Some old planes just keep going. Others, weary from over-use or made irrelevant by a changing world, are laid to rest in a sprawling desert graveyard in Arizona. Blogger Geoff Edwards points the Googlesats at the site here.
Iraq Making Own Super-Bombs?
The U.S. government has consistently blamed the proliferation in Iraq of Explosively Formed Penetrator “super-bombs” — powerful enough to kill heavy tanks — on Iranian Qods force paramilitaries. All those machine-made EFPs, they say, are evidence that Tehran is directly intervening in Iraq. (EFP pictured below striking a U.S. Humvee.) Just last week, the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat [...]
Pentagon Flack Runs Amuck
Hot on the heels of last week’s staged FEMA news conference, Salon writer Glenn Greenwald is reporting on a bizarre and troubling exchange of emails with Iraq boss David Petraeus’ public affairs officer, one Colonel Steve Boylan. Greenwald’s thrust? That the Army, especially in Iraq, has become increasingly politicized in its dealings with the press. (This is familiar territory for [...]
Dutch and Afghan forces reportedly did most of the fighting in last week’s battle for Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan. So where were the Aussies? That’s a question I’ve been asked a dozen times by desperate Australian reporters, soldiers and members of the public. 700 Australian troops are based alongside the Dutch at Kamp Holland, but [...]
FEMA Flack Shenanigans
Last week FEMA officials staged a fake press conference to promote the agency’s response to the California wildfires, Fox News reports: A fake news conference at FEMA headquarters in Washington last week has cost its organizer a new job at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and he won’t be returning to his previous [...]
Latest Mogadishu Brawl
Ethiopian occupiers and Islamist fighters have kicked off another round of fighting in Mogadishu while leadership rivalries paralyze the nascent Somali government. “Today Mogadishu, the situation: fighting is going on since last night,” my Somali friend Ajoos told me by email on Saturday. Ajoos is slated to be my fixer when I (hopefully) venture to Mogadishu next month. ”A lot [...]
Flashback: Nazi Smart Bombs!
The ongoing battle between the U.S. military and insurgent bomb-makers in Iraq is hardly the first technological cat-and-mouse game in our military history. In the fall of 1943, the Germans unleashed a new weapon that threatened to reverse the U.S. Navy’s rising ascendency in the Mediterranean, as Rick Atkinson explains in The Day of Battle, [...]
Back in August, Boeing paid to fly me and a dozen other journalist-bloggers to Everett, Washington, to see the plant that will build KC-767 tankers — assuming Boeing beats out European rival EADS in the $40-billion KC-X contest. But we weren’t the only passengers on the luxury BBJ that day. There were all sorts of mysterious Boeing [...]
So if we were to disband the Air Force, as I proposed back in August and as Robert Farley seconded in a recent piece in The American Prospect, what would we do about the service’s 500 land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles? Maybe push through a new arms treaty and retire them all along with air-launched weapons, [...]
Disband the Air Force!
Fed up with unnecessary gold-plated fighter jet programs, the service’s impatience with counter-insurgency and its anti-China rhetoric, back in August I proposed the disbanding of the U.S. Air Force. The air service’s missions could be folded into the Army, Navy and Marine Corps without any loss in national power — and we’d benefit from cuts [...]
“The U.S. military must place greater emphasis in the early stages of platform development on gleaning lessons from prototype models and locking in the requirements for new weapon systems, moves one senior Pentagon acquisition official says should help drive down overall program costs,” Defense News reports: The Pentagon’s top acquisition shop is pressing forward with [...]